Fluffy purple flying centipedes

Lately I want to be alone, but I don’t want to be alone. Mostly, I think, I want to be with my dogs and stare at walls, but the dogs are so far away…. this week T had two days off, and he spent the first one trying to cheer me by vigorously cleaning the apartment. As he was dusting the windowsill, he let out a cry of surprise.

I turned to look.

He was staring at the plastic end of a feather-duster, its magnificent purple plumage missing. We both glanced at the open, screenless window.

And then I lost it, laughing until my sides hurt. He pouted, grumbling that he didn’t understand my mirth, that it was even a NEW feather duster. But his indignant tone just sent me into further hysterics. We both leaned out the window and looked down. No sight of the thing. But it was a windy day. I imagined it blowing down the streets of our Tokyo neighborhood like a magic little anime tumbleweed, and lost it again.

T, still not sure what was so funny, regarded me with concern.

This being Japan, I told him, maybe Totoro would appear, wielding it, and benevolently hand T his lost new/ish feather duster plume. T looked at me for a long moment, and almost started
laughing. He smiled. Then he went outside to search for his missing duster. (I think he could probably still hear me laughing from 6 stories up). I wonder where “Fluffy” is now. I’m kind of jealous of the thing- I wish I could float away like that.


We also switched the bed to summer linens that day, and part of this involved the gentle placing of what I thought was a giant towel on the bed. “Why do you want to sleep with a towel?” I asked him. He replied “It’s not a towel, it’s a ‘towel-ket’.

“Seriously?” I asked. “A… towel-ket?… What kind of marketing God thought that up?”

T, very seriously replied to me: “It’s a towel that’s also a blanket.”

I imagined myself in a conference room, listening to an earnest young man deliver a PowerPoint:

“You see, it’s a towel, but it’s big, so it’s like a blanket. We, um….”
(he clears his throat, nervous here)
“We, um… we in PR were thinking… Well, we were thinking that we could combine the word for towel and the word for blanket. LIke, um, towel-ket?”
(The room nods, considering it.)
Senior VP: “Well, son, that seems like a good, sensible name. Keeps people from getting confused. It’s a towel that’s a blanket. Anyone can understand that.”
Young flunkie (relieved): “Thank you, sir.”

My hysterical laughter returned. Me: “But it’s just a big towel.”
T (defensively): “No, it’s a towelket.”
Me: (laughing like crazy)
T, chagrined, grabbed his phone and began googling “towelket”. He waved the links in my face.

“Oh, I don’t doubt that it’s a thing,” I laughed.

He harumphed and pulled up the Wikipedia page in Japanese. “In the U.S. it’s called a ‘bath sheet'” he told me.

I corrected him: “No, the black towel I have in the other room is a U.S. ‘bath sheet’. Your, um, towelket isn’t the same thing. Yours is more like a beach towel.”

He was appalled: “A towelket is not the same thing as a beach towel.”

To try to make him feel better, I reminded him that I am from the country that unleashed the Snuggie, that we love finding ways to change something just enough that we can slap a new name on it and market the hell out of it.

Giving me the stink eye, he proceeded to read out loud to me from the towelket wikipedia page. This caused me to start crying with laughter. “Are you really reading me the towelket wiki page?” I asked him.

“Yes.” he replied, pouting.

I told him this was going in the blog, along with a rant about how I can’t sleep because he really needs his own padded cell to sleep in. He snores, thrashes, rotates 360 degrees, sits up, falls over, kicks, punches, etc.

Oh my god… I have been laying awake until I pass out in the early morning, and then getting in my sleep when he’s left for work. This is not good. We’re only in a double bed, which doesn’t help.


I’m still in my own personal emotional/mental hell. Don’t get me wrong with all the laughing (mostly at poor T) this week. I am only still in Tokyo because I need to finish some research stuff.. but today I have failed to do anything work-related. I am too depressed to even put away my laundry. Gonna try yoga soon, after I digest the late pasta lunch I made myself.

I had an epic hysterical (crying) fit last night and considered going to an emergency clinic because I was so inconsolable. But T and I had a pretty good talk after I calmed down enough to just lie on the bed and stare into space. It’s really hard for me to look at FB right now. Everyone seems happily married with healthy children and robust finances, and I can’t imagine that being me right now. I guess that could have been me a year ago… (if J was willing to have children, that is), but now I’ve lost all of that.

Last night on the news here was a long piece on Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris Jackson, and her suicide attempt… rather than give into my cynical impulses to chalk the incident up to 15-year old melodrama, I felt like I understood. I wondered if she only wanted the “cry for help” part to work, not to actually die. I should spend less time wondering about the mental health of celebrity offspring, and more about getting some work done, I imagine.


2 thoughts on “Fluffy purple flying centipedes

  1. Badriya Al-Badi'a

    I just came across your blog for the first time and wanted to say–I have a lot of empathy for what you are experiencing right now, having divorced from a very long relationship with somebody who shared some character traits with J while living in a city where the majority of inhabitants did not speak English, while working on an anthropology PhD. The person I got involved with at the time (and received that discreet lecture about from my dad as well) lived in another city, but had the same importance in my life. All of which is to say, this is a terrifying but also really important and ultimately super strengthening time in your life. My thoughts are with you.

    1. matchaproblem Post author

      Wow, that is A LOT in common. That gives me hope that maybe I can also get through this, although right now I am so down about it I don’t really want to.
      Realistically, T can’t come live in the U.S.- just visit for the meantime anyway, so there’s probably no future in that relationship. I didn’t know you had
      gone the PhD route too? (only about the anthropology major though.) I am going to try to take you as my inspiration to keep fighting. Sigh. :/


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